Saving the STD

A fair amount of photographers include engagement photos in their packages. Some people don’t feel they need engagement photos – especially those who may have had their actual engagement captured in photos. It’s fair to say that most couples, though, use their engagement photos to make their Save the Dates – STDs.

While it seems easy enough to smile and pose for the camera, it’s not always that easy. Here are my 7 tips for making the most of your engagement photos for your save the dates.

  1. Before anything else, do you have rights to your photos? – be sure your photographer is releasing rights to your photos.
  2. Have a vision – it’s not enough to just schedule your photos. Figure out what you as a couple want them to look like – what season, how formal – and discuss it with your photographer. You might want to lean in to any themes your wedding will include, but remember, these are separate photos so there’s no need to go crazy with wedding details.
  3. Count backwards – most Save the Dates are sent 6-9 months before your big day. If you’re having a destination wedding, a wedding on a key holiday weekend, or the majority of your guests are traveling, consider sending them 9-12 months. Check in with your photographer to see how long their turn around time is, and then leave 3 or 4 weeks in your plan to get the STDs printed and mailed – that will help you figure out timing for your engagement photos.
  4. It’s all about the date – so how do you want your guests to see that date? Do you want it typed over a photo of you that you add when you order yours? Or do you want to hold up a chalkboard sign with it, write it in the sand, or make jerseys with the date on it?
  5. Bring props – if that suits you as a couple. My husband and I had a bit of a picnic during our engagement photos. It gave us something to do, and also something to hold (the basket) while we walked the beach. Are the two of you athletic? Maybe consider throwing a ball around. Did you meet at a coffee shop? Maybe incorporate coffee into your shoot.
  6. Think about poses – modeling is harder than it looks. There’s no shame in considering what angle you look best from. There are plenty of YouTube videos that can guide you through how to stand. Be sure you’re prepared so you’re more comfortable.
  7. Be flexible – often times, it’s difficult to schedule your engagement photos. Your photographer might be booked on the weekends, and you might be trying to catch the right light if your photos are outside. Weather also controls any outdoor photos, and rain will mean rescheduling. Ask your photographer if you can schedule a rain date right up front when you book your photos to put your mind at ease.

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